What is Cyclizine?
Cyclizine is a medicine used to treat nausea, vomiting and dizziness caused by travel sickness or vertigo. It’s also sometimes used to treat nausea in hospital patients who have woken up from general anesthesia and opioid users.
What is Cyclizine used for?
The treatment has a number of different uses, but it’s mostly used to reduce nausea and vomiting in people who experience vertigo and travel sickness. It’s also sometimes used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women if other methods haven’t worked.
How does Cyclizine work?
There’s an area in the human brain known as the vomiting centre, and it’s controlled by three different mechanisms:
- Nervous impulses from the digestive system and other parts of the body
- Stimulation from the higher brain centres (the part of your brain responsible for decision making and emotions)
- Impulses sent from the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ), which tells other parts of the vomiting centre to initiate vomiting
When you vomit, two key things happen: the brain releases a chemical called histamine, and the CTZ sends messages to other parts of the vomiting centre.
Cyclizine works by blocking these two processes. It stops the brain releasing histamine and blocks messages sent in your brain telling you to be sick.
How long does it take Cyclizine to work?
Cyclizine starts to work around 30 minutes after it is taken. You should notice a reduction in your symptoms within one to two hours.
How long does Cyclizine last?
It should work for around four to six hours.
How should I take Cyclizine?
Cyclizine is usually taken as-needed. Adults and children aged 12 and above can take one tablet up to three times a day, eight hours apart if needed.
For travel sickness, take one tablet one to two hours before you set off. If you’re going on a long journey, another can be taken eight hours later, and then one more after another eight hours.
Who can’t take Cyclizine?
Most adults and children aged 12 and above can take Cyclizine at the 50mg strength safely. Cyclizine 50mg is not suitable for children below the age of 12.
Cyclizine can be taken by pregnant women to treat morning sickness when other methods haven’t worked. There isn’t any evidence to suggest it’ll affect the baby, but it’s still best taken for the shortest possible time.
Cyclizine isn’t suitable for some people. You must tell your GP or pharmacist before taking it if you have:
- Had an allergic reaction to Cyclizine or any other medicines in the past
- Problems passing urine or emptying your bladder
- Health problems that could cause a bowel obstruction, e.g. Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, hernias or colon cancer
- Liver problems
- Epilepsy or another condition that causes seizures
- Heart failure
- An intolerance to sugars such as lactose or sorbitol
- An upcoming allergy test (Cyclizine may affect the results of allergy tests)
What are the side effects of Cyclizine?
The side effects of Cyclizine are usually mild and go away by themselves. They include:
- Blurry vision
- Dry mouth
In rare cases, Cyclizine may cause more serious side effects. Stop taking Cyclizine and tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Muscle stiffness, shaking, or unusual face or tongue movements
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop within 10 minutes
- Signs of liver problems, such as yellowing skin and whites of the eyes
How should I store Cyclizine?
Cyclizine should be stored in a dry, cool environment that does not exceed 25°C.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.